New Chores

I have a hard time knowing when to add in new chores for the children to learn.  They have daily chores (at which they do fairly well) and semi-weekly chores (at which we don’t do so well), but they’d really like a few more extra chores for which they could earn some money.  (Our allowance is not directly tied to chores, but chores are expected.)

Recently O & M “washed” our minivan.  Mostly, they sprayed it with a lot of water.  And sprayed each other.  They had a great time and each earned a quarter.  I think the car was dirtier when they finished than when they started.  =)

In fact, they had so much fun that SweetP had to get in on the action. 

See M’s glove to protect the thumb splint?  We’re halfway through the three weeks before we can (please please please please) take it off to swim again.  Say it with me: please please please please please…

Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace has some great ideas for chores.  (Check out her link on her left sidebar.)  My problem mostly is follow-through.  I can teach a new chore and remind them, but the lag between my showing them and their doing it to my satisfaction– and the whining in between– really un-motivates me.  I don’t think that’s a word, but there it is.  Some days I’d rather do it myself than hear the whining, or see it done poorly.  But how clean can a seven year-old get a bathroom, really?  Perhaps I should just be grateful that my seven year-old cleans a bathroom at all.

Here’s what we do at our house:

Daily: a monthly rotation of one child loading the dishwasher after every meal, one child unloading (as many times a day as the dishwasher is run– usually once), and the third child sweeping under the table.

Several times a week: I ask them to “clean your zone,” and each child straightens up one of the following three areas: entry way and mudroom, the schoolroom, and the TV room.  They do the living room together.  Sometimes this happens daily, sometimes 3 times day, sometimes only a few times a week.

Several times a week: J cleans the kids’ bathroom, O does the downstairs half-bath, and M does the master bath (or the doorknobs and light switches).

What do chores look like at your house?


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